중앙데일리

Twenties are tough

Sept 30,2019
According to data from the Health Insurance Review Assessment Service, those in their 20s who have been to the hospital for mental illnesses surged 90.6 percent last year compared to five years ago. The doubling of young people seeing doctors for mental ailments in just five years is a shocking revelation.

During the same period, patients treated for mental troubles in their teenage years rose 66 percent, and those in their 30s rose 39.9 percent, suggesting that those in their 20s are exposed to greater stress. The growth of all mental illnesses such as panic disorders, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders was highest among the age group in their 20s.

The 20s have long been a sad generation better known as the give-ups as they have given up on having romantic relationships, let alone marriage or having children, due to insecurity from the lack of jobs and unstable income. They have been complaining that their mother country is a “hell” for nearly 10 years. A growing number of them choose self-isolation or spend time ranting about their complaints and at others on online media platforms. They pin blame for job scarcity on the other gender or age groups. A sense of helplessness and hopeless is prevalent. Socioeconomic factors must have been behind the spike in mental illnesses in that particular age group.

Conditions for the young have improved little under the Moon Jae-in government. Labor income for those in their 20s fell 2 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2017, whereas wages grew from 5 percent to 41 percent for other age groups. In July the youth jobless rate hit 9.8 percent, the highest since 1997. For August, those who have given up on looking for jobs, including those in their 20s, reached 542,000, the highest since 2003. The suicide rate among those in their 20s has stayed unchanged despite the overall suicide rate falling from 2011. The government must come up with radical and realistic measures to create decent and sustainable jobs for the young as well as social programs to aid their mental problems.


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